| POLITICS |
22.00 - tent-camp dwellers to spend one more night in frost
21.30 - Milinkevich to come back at night
There are still about 25 tents on the Kastrychnitskaya Square in the center of Minsk. Today several thousands of the meeting participants expressed their support towards the camp-dwellers. Alyaxandr Milinkevich is to visit the camp at night. People are cheerful despite the frost - they are waiting for the date, declared by the democratic leaders, - March 25, when a mass demonstration of opposition is to take place.
The oldest Belarusian independent edition “BDG. Dielovaya Gazieta” to cease publication
The meeting on the Kastrychnitskaya Square is almost over. Unified democratic candidate Alyaxandr Milinkevich has left the square to come back to the tent-camp dwellers in a few hours. “Today we’ve got telephone calls from the European Union institutions, from Brussels. They are compiling the lists of those who have assisted forging of the election, who fired people for their participation in the meeting, who expelled students. These people will be banned from entering the countries-EU members,” - he said. The meeting presenters also urged the demonstrators to examine the water and tea.
21.00 - pensioners still on the square
Publisher and editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper “BDG. Dielovaya Gazieta” Piotar Martsau resolved to halt the publication of the newspaper “until the working conditions are defined”, as he said in an interview to BelaPAN.
20.20 - Milinkevich finished his speech on the square
After his speech delivered on the Kastrychnitskaya Square of Minsk, renamed by the demonstrators to the Kastus’ Kalinouski Square, democratic forces candidate Alyaxandr Milinkevich went with the usual visit to the dwellers of the tent-camp fixed in the center of the Belarusian capital several days ago. At present activists of the Belarusian opposition come out on the square where people have gathered for the regular evening meeting. Thus, in his speech politician Viachaslau Siuchyk urged the youth to invite their friends and relatives to the square, and human rights defender Ludzmila Graznova reminded their moral duty to Homeland.
19.45 - people wait for Milinkevich on the square of Minsk
Alyaxandr Milinkevich again made a speech for the people who had come to the square in the center of Minsk. He urged the people to stay on the square and wait for the action of March 25 that is to be populous, well-organized and peaceful. After this he added that the heads of the major Polish universities had resolved to grant free studying places for the students expelled from Belarusian universities because of their political activity. Now the lists of the activists arrested within these days are being read out on the square. The action’s organizers say each detained activist is to be replaced by two-three friends of his.
Minsk’s symbols under a ban because of their being used by opposition
The next opposition meeting, mass and peaceful, has been lasting in the center of Minsk for more than one hour so far. Several thousands of people are listening to those who reside in the twenty-four-hour tent-camp and are waiting for unified opposition candidate Alyaxandr Milinkevich to appear. A huge transparency “Square of Kastus Kalinouski” (national Belarusian hero who gave his life in struggle against the Russian tsarism) emerged on the square. Dozens of national flags, flags of movements and parties and simply jeans t-shirts tied to staffs are fluttering over the demonstrators. The powers have again switched off the light on the square, so the meeting is held with poor lighting provided by streetlamps of Independence Avenue (former Avenue of Frantsysk Scarina).
Nasha Niva editor-in-chief sentenced to 10 days of jail
“Flags with the emblem of Minsk were withdrawn from kiosks of Minsk City Post Service on March 22. They have grown so unpopular because of their blue color and because they became trappings of the demonstrators of the Kastrychnitskaya square,” - this message was sent to the e-mail of Charter press-center. Our reader also emphasizes that today kiosks and stores have received a direction according to which “the editions subsidized by the budget - “Sovietskaya Bielorussia” etc - must occupy the central place on counters.”
Brest police arrested HR Activist again
Savetski court of Minsk sentenced Andrei Dynko, editor-in-chief of Nasa Niva newspaper to 10 days of jail for disorderly conduct. Judge Alena Kraichyk decided the testimony of the policemen who detained him was reliable. The police officers claimed that in the morning of March 21 the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper was walking on Kastrychnitskaya Square and swore using obscene language. The policemen said Dynko did not react on their numerous remarks.
Satsuk and Salash
Brest police arrested Uladzimir Vialichkin, member of Viasna, again. He has just served his term of 5 days on fabricated charges of using obscene language in a public place. Today he was supposed to be released. However, the police officers drove him from jail straight to the police station where they again charged him with disorderly conduct (Art 156). Allegedly, Vialichkin swore at the policeman who escorted him. This time he was sentenced to 7 days in jail.
On March 22 the police detained Siarhei Satsuk and Siarhei Salash, activists of Milinkevich’s headquarters. The detention was made on Kirava Street by people in plain clothes. The activists were driven away in unknown direction.
Belarus: Detentions and beatings continue after elections
New verdicts passed, new names of the detained found out.
20:36, 22/03/2006, Amnesty International`s press release
Warsaw deplores Belarus` vote, promises sanctions
Large numbers of peaceful demonstrators are being detained and beaten by riot police and anti-terrorist forces in Belarus in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate demonstrators, according to information obtained by Amnesty International.
Russian diplomat critical of ODIHR conclusions
The Polish foreign ministry has "strongly" condemned the Belarusian authorities` methods used during the recent presidential campaign, promising sanctions against officials responsible for "frauds and violations of civil rights." It warns that it will appeal to the international community to introduce new sanctions against Minsk.
Only a Few Hundred Demonstrate in Minsk
Mikhail Kamynin, an official representative of the Russian foreign ministry, criticized conclusions of the OSCE observation mission on the March 14-19 presidential election in Belarus. He told reporters that assessments of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) were biased and contradictory. "Election day voting took place in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere and was well-organized on the whole," he said.
18:49, 22/03/2006, AP
CONSERVATIVES: William Hague: We cannot ignore Europe`s last dictatorship
A police commander said Wednesday that security forces would not move against the small, "pathetic" crowd camped in central Minsk that is protesting the re-election of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Warmer weather raised the spirits of demonstrators, numbering about 300, who have been staging daily rallies on freezing Oktyabyrskaya Square since Sunday, alleging the election was fraudulent and calling for new balloting without Lukashenko. In late afternoon, however, four large medical vehicles appeared on the square and a water truck with hoses was parked in a position where it could spray the crowd.
18:48, 22/03/2006, http://www.conservatives.com/
Report: Human Rights Defenders Face Abuse
Commenting on the latest arrests of protesters against President Lukashenka in Belarus, Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said: "The Belarusian authorities` arrest of four senior opposition figures is a sign of President Lukashenka`s creeping Stalinism. The international community must shine a spotlight on this and the other gross abuses of civil liberties there, so that democrats in Belarus know that the outside world stands with them. "We cannot ignore Europe`s last dictatorship. Helping the cause of freedom in Belarus should be top of the agenda at tomorrow`s EU summit."
18:47, 22/03/2006, By Lisa Bryant
Slovak MP defends Lukashenko
A new report says there were hundreds of violations committed last year against defenders of human rights in 90 countries around the world. The report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Paris criticizes dozens of countries around the world for a variety of human rights and freedom of expression abuses.
15:30, 22/03/2006, The Slovak Spectator
Iran`s President Congratulates Lukashenka
A member of parliament for the Slovak Communist Party, Dagmar Bollová, defended the hard-line Belarus regime of Alexander Lukashenko at a press conference yesterday. The conference dealt with the recent presidential elections in Belarus and had been called by László Nagy, the chairman of the Slovak parliamentary Human Rights Committee, and Balázs Jarábik of the Pontis Foundation NGO.
Russian ambassador: Belarus vote outcome must be accepted
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad today congratulated Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on his reelection. Ahmadinejad said he hopes Iranian-Belarusian ties will be expanded in the future and said he is looking forward to Lukashenka visiting Iran.
15:29, 22/03/2006, Interfax
About 50 activists reported arrested near camp of protestors in Minsk early on Wednesday
No opposition claims of irregularities in the electoral process in Belarus can call into question the results of the March 19 presidential elections in the country, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov said at a meeting with Belarussian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky in Minsk on Wednesday. "The electoral process itself and its results indicate that the people`s choice was unambiguous," he said.
Jailed election observer goes on hunger strike in Vitebsk
There were unconfirmed reports that around 50 people were grabbed by police while they were leaving a camp of anti-Lukashenko protestors on Oktyabrskaya Square in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Three Georgians deported from Belarus over election protests
Sergei Parsyukevich, an observer and member of Aleksandr Milinkevich`s campaign who was arrested at a polling station in Vitebsk on March 19 and sentenced to five days in jail on the same day, went on a hunger strike.
Opposition activists arrested while attempting to bring food to protesters
Three Georgian nationals detained in Belarus for taking part in opposition protests against alleged election fraud have been deported, Georgian television reported Wednesday. Rustavi 2 said clergymen Malkhaz Songulashvili and Basily Kobakhidze and religious-studies scholar Lado Gogiashvili, arrested in the Belarusian capital Monday after joining a rally in support of Belarusian opposition attempts to dispute Sunday`s election results, have now been expelled from the country and banned from reentry in the next five years.
Crowd swells on Minsk`s central square
Three opposition activists disappeared at about midnight on March 20 when they were carrying food and clothes to demonstrators who camped out in central Minsk overnight to protest official results of Sunday`s presidential election.
VIDEO OF FREEDOM
Hundreds of protesters remained on Oktyabrskaya Square in Minsk at 2p.m. on Tuesday with more people trickling in.
Vitebsk police arrests 14 protesters
TIRED OF WATCHING LIES ON OFFICIAL TV? Download and watch video clips from actions of Belarusian opposition. You can find it here:
Hrodna activists jaled right after release
The police has just detained 14 participants of the protest rally on Freedom Square. The trials over Ch. Zhelapau, A. Haurutsikau and V. Barshcheuski take place today.
TRIALS TO CONTINUE TODAY
Today police again detained Yauhen Lasocki from Milinkevich’s team. First time he was detained on March 16, the next day he received a sentence of 5 days in jail for alleged usage of obscene language. Today he came out of prison only to get detained again.
Belarus Opposition Leader Faces Dilema
Fresh info from HRC Viasna: Passed Verdicts and List of the Detained in Minsk.
13:29, 22/03/2006, By JIM HEINTZ Associated Press Writer
Belarus protests appear to lose momentum
The crowd at the Belarusian capital`s main square chants Alexander Milinkevich`s name around the clock. When he visits their encampment, people flock to him so eagerly that they rip down the anchor cords of some of the tents.
13:28, 22/03/2006, By Jean-Chrisopthe Peuch for RFE/RL
Putin`s pal in Minsk
Belarusian opposition supporters gathered today on a central square of Minsk to demand that the results of the March 19 presidential polls be voided. It was the third such rally since the election, which the international community says failed to meet democratic standards. Opposition candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, who officially won 6 percent of the votes, has called for a larger protest rally later this week. Meanwhile, authorities seem determined to not let the protest movement gain momentum -- apparently with some success.
13:27, 22/03/2006, Globe, Editorial
This night much more people came to the square in Minsk
PRESIDENT ALEXANDER Lukashenko of Belarus, who won a third six-year term Sunday in elections that European observers decried as unfair and unfree, is an unregenerate Stalinoid thug. Before the vote, his security service, which still proudly retains the initials KGB, warned would-be protestors that they would be liable for the death penalty if they took to the streets to demonstrate against the rigged election process.
Demonstrators’ mass massacre on behalf of Uladzimir Navumau
“It is excellent that really much more people came to the square this night than the previous one. I am positive, this is not the limit, the number of people will grow and a huge action with tens of thousands of people is highly possible on March 25,” - one of the BNF leaders, Alyaxandr Milinkevich’s election headquarters member Siargey Mikhalevich expressed his view to Radio Svaboda. It was reported that yesterday Mr.Milinkevich, who had spent the night on the square with demonstrators, stated a mass action of the democratic forces was to be held on the Day of Will, Mach 25, at 18.30 on the Kastrychnitskaya Square. “The whole Minsk and the whole Belarus will come on March 25 to the Kastrychnitskaya Square. The powers will see the real strength of the democratic forces who protest against falsifications of the Presidential election outcome,” - the democratic forces candidate stated.
Russian people support Belarusians
Policemen beat unmercifully those demonstrators who leave the Kastrychnitskaya square for a change and wash. As Radio Svaboda reports, two young men who had been pursued by the police and managed to escape, came back to the tent camp about 9 a.m. Mikhas’ Audzieyeu is one of them. He said policemen grabbed and beat those demonstrators who were going down to the subway to get home for a while.
On Scene: A Revolution in Belarus?
There are 8 Russian people among those who spent the night on the Kastrychnitskaya Square. All of them are activists of the youth movement “Oborona” (“Defence”) and they have arrived in Minsk from Moscow, Murmansk, St.-Petersbourg and Ekaterinbourg. The young people have journalist certificates - they were observers during the election of March 19. The first tent fixed on the square, the “Oborona” activists resolved to stay in Minsk for some time.
12:31, 22/03/2006, By YURI ZARAKHOVICH, TIME
In Belarus, Little Hope for Opposition Victory
At first glance, some twenty multi-colored tents that popped up in Minsk`s downtown Oktyabrskaya Square on Monday night looked the next bright morning like merry little stalls offering hot tea and cakes to those enjoying the square`s small outdoor skating rink. But the tents were covered with the national white and red colors of Belarus, frowned upon since President Alexander Lukashenko officially reintroduced the Soviet-era symbols back in 1995, and the 1000 or so people standing vigil around the tents didn`t look like they were enjoying a day out with the family. Having spent a freezing night in the square, exhausted by sporadic scuffles with the police, or fighting back bulldozers threatening to erase their makeshift abodes, they could have used some hot food — if only the police who cordoned off the square would not harass those trying to bring it in.
12:30, 22/03/2006, By Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
Dozens of Protesters Arrested in Belarus
Shortly before dawn Tuesday, opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich, wan, haggard and freezing, toured the small camp in the center of Oktyabrskaya Square that has become the ragged fortress of the democratic opposition in Belarus. "Our president!" the 300 or so young supporters still left cheered as Milinkevich moved among the sagging plastic tents, his constituency swathed in blankets and bouncing on their toes. For dinner, there had been only hot tea and crackers after police seized bags of food brought in by supporters and arrested anyone, including Milinkevich`s two sons, caught trying to smuggle in a warm coat.
12:28, 22/03/2006, By STEVEN LEE MYERS and C. J. CHIVERS, New York Times
Letter to Lukashenko
The authorities arrested dozens of protesters today, including prominent opposition figures, in an effort to squelch public protests over the declared victory of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko in Sunday`s presidential election. Among other prominent leaders were Aleksandr Dobrovolsky and Alyaksei Yanukevich, both close advisers to Mr. Milinkevich. Their fate remained unclear tonight. Mr. Milinkevich`s two sons were detained early today while trying to bring food and clothes to those camped overnight, but quickly released.
Czech reporter beaten, three Belarusians detained in election aftermath
President Lukashenko, The International League for Human Rights, an international non-governmental organization with special consultative status at the United Nations, is deeply concerned about the mass detention of protestors in Minsk.
Russian Foreign Ministry slams OSCE bias on Belarus poll
Unidentified assailants beat a reporter for the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes as he was completing coverage of a post-election opposition rally in downtown Minsk Sunday night, The Associated Press reported. The attackers broke Jan Rybar’s nose, leaving him with a mild concussion and bruises, and took his laptop computer and satellite phone, which he had used to file his report from the rally. The attackers took no money, the AP said. “I don’t think those were regular robbers,” the Belarusian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted Rybar as saying. “The circumstances of where, when, and how this happened are hardly coincidental.”
12:22, 22/03/2006, RIA Novosti
Nation On Trial
The biased verdict of the OSCE, Europe`s main election monitoring organization, on the presidential election in Belarus highlights the need to improve the process of observing polls, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. "We believe that the biased nature of the verdict of the monitoring mission has again confirmed the importance of beginning, at last, focused work to correct shortcomings in the election monitoring practice," Mikhail Kamynin said referring to a decision made by foreign ministers of the 55-nation security grouping in December last year.
Tent Camp. Photo Chronicles
Observers and reporters, family members and even lawyers were evicted from the “Palace of Justice”, where the trials over participants of the protest action are held. Everybody was evicted from the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk as well, and at they were told that the trial is closed. Harsh sentences were passed. The leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka is sentenced to 15 days of arrest, deputy head of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Alyaxei Yanukevich – to 12 days of arrest, a student activist Tatsyana Khoma – to 10 days of arrest. 108 persons are detained. The human rights center “Viasna” tells names of the detained and the verdicts that are known by now:
Alyaksandr Milinkevich and his Wife in Tent Camp
We offer you photo chronicles of the life of the tent camp on October Square in Minsk. At 6.30 p.m. on the call of the democratic forces more than 7,000 people have come to protest against falsifications at presidential lections in Belarus.
Warm Things are Distributed In Tent Camp
The single democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich and his wife are going to stay all night in the tent camp in October Square of Minsk. The leader of the Belarusian opposition talks with people, thanks them for courage, answers numerous questions. “I am staying here all night. We must fight. Today there more people here than yesterday, and tomorrow there would be even more people. With such courageous people we must win,” Alyaksandr Milinkevich said to the Charter’97 press center.
Participants of Meeting on October Square Scan “Shame to Putin!”
About 2 thousand people are standing on October Square in Minsk. Now participants of the tent camp are given warm clothes: scarves, mittens, warm socks, sweaters. People are bringing blankets and fur coats to the square.
An independent observer from Russia took the floor in October Square in Minsk. He told: “Yesterday Vladimir Putin congratulated Lukashenka on “victory” in presidential race, but Putin does not have a right to speak on behalf of the Russian nation. We do not support the dictator and totalitarianism. Shame to Putin!” The participants of the meeting have been scanning: “Shame to Putin!” for a long time.